The Ophthalmologists Society of Nigeria has advised stakeholders in the country to adhere to the world’s standard practice in banning  the use of Avastin intraocular injection in the country.

The Senate recently banned the use of the injection following the   contraindications  and complications suffered by 10 visually impaired patients at the National Eye Centre, Kaduna, after receiving the injection.

Reacting to the position of the Senate on the matter,the OSN said while it appreciates the effort of the Senators to avert a repeat of the Kaduna episode,it expects  “an adherence to a globally established protocol before a ban is effected” on the  drug.

In the statement signed by its President,Dr .Ayobade Ogundipe and General Secretary, Dr Yinka Ologunsua,the society said members of its    Vitreoretinal Subspecialty group who have been “using this drug for several years have documented the safety and efficacy of AVASTIN  use among Nigerians.”

It said its ban “may inadvertently make several patients go blind.”

It added: “Several patients especially those with (diabetes, hypertension, age related macular degeneration) sometimes develop retinal complications requiring treatment. AVASTIN  remains the most affordable of all drugs in use.”

It stressed the need for  “more scrutiny and diligence from all stakeholders, uncompromised quality assurance and best practice from end users,” while the report on the drug is being expected from NAFDAC.

It said it has been in touch with the National Eye Centre on the issue and has established that the 10 patients had ocular conditions affecting the retina and were either hypertensive or diabetic or both.

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